Politics

Boris Johnson unleashes all-out war on drugs to clean up Britain’s crime-plagued streets


BORIS Johnson will unleash an all-out war on drugs this week in a massive drive to clean up Britain’s crime-plagued streets.

The PM is targeting dealers, addicts and casual users who he believes are the root cause of half of all burglaries and violent robberies.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will unleash an all-out war on drugs this week

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson will unleash an all-out war on drugs this weekCredit: AFP or licensors
Boris said: 'Drugs are driving a lot of misery and we can fix it'

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Boris said: ‘Drugs are driving a lot of misery and we can fix it’Credit: Getty

He will unveil a ten-year plan to halt the “pernicious” trade by cutting off supply chains and slashing demand.

In the biggest anti-drugs blitz in a generation, he will invest millions in rehab for desperate addicts, coupled with harsher penalties for pushers and recreational buyers.

In an exclusive interview with The Sun on Sunday, Mr Johnson says politicians have dithered over the scourge for too long — sometimes because they once dabbled in drugs themselves.

He said: “Drugs are driving a lot of misery and we can fix it. They’re not going to make you happier.

“They’re not going to make you more successful. They’re not going to make you cooler. They’re bad news.”

Tackling drug abuse will be at the heart of a law and order initiative to be announced this week. It will include:

  • HARSH punishments to deter lifestyle drug use, including removal of passports and driving licences, night-time curfews and football-style travel bans;
  • TOUGHER sentences for dealers, action to break up County Lines gangs who exploit children and a crackdown on drugs in prisons;
  • RECORD spending on treatment and recovery services to get people out of addictions which drive offending;
  • EXTRA cash for 50 local authorities with the worst drug problems, including Middlesbrough, Blackpool, Liverpool, Hull and coastal towns in the North East and Yorkshire.

It is part of a wider range of measures to combat crime, including laws to protect women and girls from harassment in public, action to speed up justice and new courtroom rules to secure more rape convictions.

Mr Johnson said tackling drug abuse was the key to creating safer streets and delivering his “levelling up” agenda.

He will launch a twin-pronged approach, with help for those who need it and tough sanctions for those who should know better.

He said: “Most of the crime driven by drugs is generated by 300,000 heroin and crack cocaine users — tragic people who have lost their way in life.

“You can lock them up again and again and we do but they come out again and reoffend so we have got to rehabilitate them.

“But then there is a separate group who can cope but who are also feeding the demand and helping to create the economics of the business.

“I don’t want to stereotype them but I’m talking about lifestyle drugs. These people think it’s a victimless crime.

“It isn’t. The country is ­littered with victims of what’s happened. We are going to look at new ways of penalising them.

“Things that will actually interfere with their lives so we will look at taking away passports and driving licences.”

But Mr Johnson refused to entertain suggestions that decriminalising drugs would solve the problem, saying he sees “no evidence that that’s the right thing to do”.

‘IT MADE ME FEEL SICK’

He added: “It’s been a long time since the government said drugs are bad and dangerous and killing kids up and down the country — and it’s time we did something about it.

“I came in on a pledge to cut crime and it has come down quite a long way. But we need to go further.”

Mr Johnson has previously admitted trying cocaine at university but he said it made him sneeze and had no effect.

But he also suspects some politicians have been afraid of acting against drugs for fear of being asked about their own past experiences.

Mr Johnson talked exclusively about his law and order campaign aboard a train on his way to campaign in the North Shropshire by-election.

He revealed he was sickened by the murder of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes by his father and stepmum, who were jailed this week.

And he vowed that “some pretty grim lessons” will have to be learned from the case.

He said: “It’s just appalling. I could hardly bring myself to read about the case. I did force myself to read it and it made me feel sick. You try to imagine how on earth they could have behaved like that.

“It’s very important that people get the toughest possible sentences for that kind of offence.”

He vowed to press ahead with Tony’s Law, which would give courts power to jail child abusers for life.

It follows a campaign by the adoptive family of Tony Hudgell, seven, of Kings Hill, Kent, who had both legs amputated following abuse.

‘THE PUBLIC ARE NEVER WRONG’

Mr Johnson also promised action to create safer streets for women and girls and restore public confidence in the police — which was shattered by the murder of Sarah Everard by Met officer Wayne Couzens.

He pledged to double the conviction rate for rape and serious sexual offences by changing what is permissible in court.

Pestering women in the street or pubs and making lewd ­comments could also become an offence.

Mr Johnson said: “There was a big public outcry about Sarah Everard’s death. The ­public are never wrong.

“Women find it very frustrating and infuriating and completely soul-destroying when they can’t get justice for crimes of rape, domestic violence and serious sexual assault because they are not being prosecuted in the numbers that they need to be.”

Many victims had been worn down by a defendant demanding messages on their phone are ­disclosed in court — often when they are irrelevant to the case.

The PM said: “We are now trying to fix it. We’re changing the rules about what’s permissible and what can be used in court.

“We are putting more prosecutors in but we need to restore people’s faith in the system and get many more convicted.”

He added: “I believe passionately in the police. But if we are going to have confidence in the police, people need to know that they are going to get justice, that they are going to be treated with courtesy and respect.

“What people want is the law enforced. They want their cases heard.

“They want criminals’ collars felt and they want people banged up. I want officers out on the street and not endlessly sitting behind terminals trying to do stuff online when we need to fight neighbourhood crime.

“We can win the fight against crime and make neighbourhoods much safer, more attractive and happier to live in.

“But you have to be tough on crime. And that’s exactly what we intend to do.”

ON PRITI

THE PM has given Priti Patel his total support in her battle to stop migrant boats crossing the Channel.

He dismissed Cabinet whispers that he had lost confidence in his Home Secretary as “total bs”.

Mr Johnson said: “Priti and I have been working on this together for a long time and I really think we’re starting to make progress.

“She has an unbelievably difficult task.

“Look, let’s face it, there is a huge legal, political and human rights complex that makes it hard to deport or deter people and stop criminal gangs operating in another country.

“But Priti’s worked blindlingly hard and we’ll soon see a difference.”

The crunch comes this week when the Nationality And Borders Bill goes through the Commons. BoJo said it would “end this cycle of appeals”.

ON MACRON

FRENCH president Emmanuel Macron has been accused of behaving like a jealous younger brother in his spat over the migrant crisis.

He branded Boris Johnson a “clown” on the day 27 people drowned trying to cross the Channel in a flimsy boat.

But the Prime Minister brushed off the insult and refused to get into a slanging match with the pint-sized leader.

He said: “The UK and France are like two large, cheerful, boisterous siblings.

“It’s the truth, and it has been that way for hundreds of years.

“We have much more in common that divides us — much, much more.”

He added diplomatically: “I have excellent relations with the French government at all levels and we genuinely work very closely with them.”

ON XMAS

PEPPA Pig will play a very important role in Christmas celebrations at No10 this year.

The PM’s 19-month-old son Wilfred is a big fan of the TV character and hopes Santa will bring him some Peppa toys.

Dad Boris, who took his boy to Peppa Pig World in Hampshire last month, said: “Peppa Pig’s a very, very important part of Christmas.

“We’ve got a Peppa advent calendar.”

Wife Carrie — ex­pecting their second child this month — took Wilfred to see Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever in London’s West End on Friday.

The PM admitted he has not begun Christmas shopping.

But asked if he had been a good boy this year, he replied: “On the whole I’ve been exceptionally good — by my standards.”

The PM is targeting dealers, addicts and casual users who he believes are the root cause of half of all burglaries and violent robberies

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The PM is targeting dealers, addicts and casual users who he believes are the root cause of half of all burglaries and violent robberiesCredit: Andrew Parsons / CCHQ/ Parsons Media
Boris Johnson gets his Covid booster jab and urges Brits to do the same

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